Homemade tortillas are used in many Mexican and Southwestern recipes. You'll be well-rewarded for making your own homemade flour version!
I absolutely love Southwestern and Tex-Mex cuisine, and flour tortillas are probably one of the most common ingredients in this type of food. Think about it. Burritos, wraps, quesadillas, and chimichangas all require flour tortillas to reach their maximum level of deliciousness!
But have you ever made your own flour tortillas at home? They’re really not that difficult, and the taste of a fresh tortilla is simply amazing.
While these homemade tortillas are tasty by themselves, they can be a bit boring in the flavor department. Instead, it’s how tortillas are used that make them so valuable (and tasty) in the kitchen. Take these Grilled Chicken Quesadillas for example. This recipe features delicious marinated, grilled chicken and onions, but the grilled quesadilla wouldn’t be possible without flour tortillas.
Similarly, flour tortillas can be used for sweet treats, too. These Cinnamon Cheesecake Dessert Samosas rank pretty high up there on my list of favorite desserts.
Making homemade tortillas is oddly very similar to making homemade pie dough. The dry ingredients are combined in a bowl, and then the fat is cut in until uniformly mixed. For pie dough, I prefer to use butter, but tortillas require vegetable shortening or lard. Lard is actually a better bet (and more traditional) for making tortillas if you happen to have it available. Shortening is an acceptable substitute when lard isn’t available, though. Believe it or not, fresh lard (available from your butcher) actually has less saturated fat than shortening too. The same can't be said for shelf stable lard at the grocery store, so beware there.
Once you've decided on your fat, just mix some water into the dough, let it rest for a few minutes, and then roll it out into super thin pieces. While the dough behaves a bit differently than pie dough, the process is still remarkably similar. So, while it might be easier to just open a bag of store-bought tortillas, try your hand at making the homemade version, you will be well-rewarded for your efforts!